How does yoga promote a healthy development in teen girls?
And, why do we teach it in SERniña (By REALgirl)?
The short answer
For many, many centuries, girls and women have been bombarded and disempowered with messages of shame surrounding the female body, their magical, cyclical and reproductive capacity and their powerful sexual energy. Deliberate at one point in history and now simply part of the fabric of most cultures around the world, these messages of shame and inferiority may be more responsible for the deterioration of self-value in girls and women than any other single ‘root’ of the problem. 1
From a very early age, girls are overwhelmed with messages from the media and society telling them how their bodies “should” look. They learn that their body’s primary importance is how it looks externally. They learn their bodies are there to be an object, an ornament to simply decorate the world. When their body does not look the way they or society want it to, many girls begin to disconnect from their bodies and tear down the appreciation they have for themselves, leading to plummet in their overall self-esteem and sense of self-worth.
“I finally realized that being grateful to my body was key to giving more love to myself.”
Because the SERniña curriculum is dedicated to addressing the issues of low self-esteem at their root and building a lasting sense of empowerment from the inside out, re-connecting girls with their bodies through a basic knowledge and the experience of yoga & meditation has proven to be very effective.
The SERniña yoga practice is not just a fitness class. Before and during each session we talk about how yoga can help us connect to our bodies, the importance of connecting with our breath, the significance of particular poses and during meditation we offer messages of encouragement and through guiding questions nurture a practice of self-reflection. The aim is to encourage the girls on a path of self-discovery and self-knowledge, to value themselves, and their bodies, on a more profound level and to discover their skills and interests in order to create their own path in life.
This pose is about celebrating life, it is symbolic of our innate ability to dance through the chaos and disappointments of life. We are reminded that we are responsible for creating our own happiness. In this pose you should feel secure, powerful and proud. This pose increases your confidence and the strength in your legs.
This a powerful heart-opener, you must remember to breathe profoundly. By staying connected to our breath, this pose gives us energy, helps relieve stress, depression and anxiety. It opens up our heart centre, which allows us to connect more freely with others and that others connect with us. This pose also nurtures our self-esteem and confidence.
1 Anea Bogue, M.A., CLC, B.Ed. -REALgirl® Creator & Director. Click here to learn more